Four Factors That Affect The Amount Of A Wrongful Death Award

21 November 2017
 Categories: , Blog


If you have a loved one who has passed away, and another parties negligent or illegal actions caused their death, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim helps to compensate you for the financial losses you sustained as a result of your loved one being taken out of your life. What one person may be awarded may differ from what someone else may be awarded. This is because there are different factors that are looked at and taken into consideration when determining what you may be entitled to. Here are four factors that affect what amount you may be entitled to from a wrongful death case. 

Medical Bills

Prior to your loved one passing away, they may have incurred medical bills. They may have been rushed to the hospital via an ambulance or had emergency surgery to try to save their life. You are entitled to the cost of the medical bills so you can pay these expenses off without having to use life insurance or your income to do so. 

Funeral Expenses

After your loved one passes, you have to bury and cremate them. You may also hold a funeral. These costs can add up quickly. If someone else causes the death of your loved one, you are entitled to funeral expense as part of a wrongful death settlement or award. However, keep in mind that many states place a limit on the amount that you can recover for funeral expenses. 

Your Loved One's Earning Capacity

One of the factors that affects the amount you are entitled to that can be challenging to calculate is your loved one's earning capacity. In order to determine this, many elements are looked at such as how much longer your loved one would be expected to work, what their current income was, the earning potential of others in their field, the growth potential in their field and their education and skill set. It is then estimated what your loved one may have earned and provided over the course of their life and you may be compensated accordingly. 

The Loss of Additional Benefits

The last factor that is looked at is the loss of additional benefits. Maybe your loved one provided you with healthcare benefits. Maybe your loved one watched the children in the evening while you worked. Or maybe your loved one did all of the yard work. Now that they are gone, you may have to pay for health benefits, a babysitter or a landscaper. The loss of the benefits your loved one provided and their value is factored into your settlement or award. 

If you are wondering if you have a case for wrongful death or how much you may be entitled to, consider consulting with or hiring a personal injury lawyer. This type of lawyer handles these types of cases. The attorney can let you know if they feel that you have a compensable case and what the case may be worth based on these four factors.